Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The authors of this PNAS article found that members of the general population living past age 85 do not have fewer disease risk alleles (coronary diseases, cancer, diabetes) than a random sample of young adults. We have to keep looking for the answer to healthy longevity...
As a "hormone person," I found this quite interesting! Some sex differences are not mediated by hormones, but rather by direct genetic effects--for example, on the midbrain dopaminergic system.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The first major paper from the project was published last week in Nature.
So now we supposed have 94% of human variable sites documented -- including the identification of many 'rare variants'.
An interest snippet from the Nature News article:
"results of the survey revealed, with each person's genome carrying some 250 or 300 so-called 'loss-of-function' mutations that incapacitate the gene in which they occur.
"That's quite a lot — it's on the order of 1% of all genes," says Richard Durbin, a genomicist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK, and one of the chief architects of the project."
Monday, November 1, 2010
Interesting review of the distribution of plague strains across the west, with their origins - "'The likely origin of the plague in China has nothing to do with its people or crowded cities,' Dr. Achtman said. 'The bacterium has no interest in people, whom it slaughters by accident. Its natural hosts are various species of rodent such as marmots and voles, which are found throughout China.'"